Reuters

75,000 to 100,000 residents are fleeing the city in an unprecedented evacuation effort.

Calgary, Canada's third-largest city, has begun evacuating 75,000 to 100,000 residents from two dozen downtown neighborhoods as water levels in the Bow River continue to rise.

Rivers in southern Alberta have been flooding all week, and schools in Calgary, population 1.1 million, were closed on Friday as a precaution. As water crept into the central business district this morning, many buildings were put under mandatory evacuation order.

"I have never seen the river rise that high or that fast," Mayor Naheed Nenshi told Global News. He estimated the Bow was carrying three times as much water as in 2005, when flooding washed away roads and produced the province's most costly natural disaster ever. Meteorologists are reporting the river is flowing at six to seven times its normal volume, and the the city has called its first state of emergency since the 1920s.

Via Global News livestream.

Via Global News livestream.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on his way to the city, as are 600 soldiers to assist in flooded areas. The zoo has been completely submerged, with lions and tigers reportedly evacuated to holding pens in the courthouse.

Calgary lies at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Over 6 inches of rain have fallen in the last 48 hours, and more is forecast for this evening.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  2. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  3. Environment

    Obesity Thrives in the Suburbs

    A U.K. study finds a clear connection between density and obesity—and even rural areas fare better than suburban ones.

  4. Equity

    Seattle Has 5 Big Pieces of Advice for Amazon’s HQ2 Winner

    Being HQ1 has been no picnic.

  5. The 560-foot-tall Juche Tower in Pyongyang, North Korea.
    Videos

    Seeing Pyongyang in 360 Degrees

    A photographer in a microlight aircraft shot 360-degree video over the secretive North Korean capital.